Tkalčićeva Street (more commonly referred to as Tkalča by the locals) is one of the most vibrant and busiest streets in Zagreb, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, Tkalča used to be a creek called Medveščak and the centre of Zagreb industry, with numerous windmills and many bridges. It was here that the first cloth, soap, paper, and liquor factories opened, as well as leather factories later on. The creek was also the border between two towns: the smaller and clerical Kaptol, and the bigger and secular Gradec, inhabited by many craftsmen and merchants. The opposing townspeople weren’t on good terms and they often got into bloody fights, which is why the street on the beginning of Tkalča is called the Bloody Bridge (Krvavi most).
As the towns developed and merged into one city, the fighting stopped, but the population grew and so the creek got polluted, didn’t actually smell pleasant, and, in addition, was a pain in the neck because it flooded the surrounding area, so it was decided that it would be covered with gravel from the Sava River at the end of the 19th ct. It was later modernized by covering it in asphalt in 1900, and the factories quickly transformed into small businesses and shops, similar to those you can see in Tkalča today.
Since the ‘80s this street has been one of the favourite places to go to in Zagreb, both for tourists and for local people. The old wooden houses dating back to the 19th ct just add more charm to it. The street is filled with people, day and night, because of its ever-growing number of cafés, restaurants, galleries, and shops.
The statue of a lady with an umbrella in Tkalča is Marija Jurić Zagorka, the first female journalist in Croatia and one of the most read writers in Croatia, whose novels talk about mysterious adventures of people of Zagreb throughout history.
There is also an interesting (and functional) sun dial on the facade of the house behind her.